There is no place like home for Raj Goyle

A couple of weeks ago Kansan Raj Goyle filed the necessary papers to take a run at a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives (thanks for the tip AK). The Wichita Eagle reported:

Taking back Red States one at a time :)

Flanked by family, friends and supporters, Raj Goyle announced his bid for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives on Tuesday at Wichita State University.

Goyle, 30, is the only Democrat to file against incumbent Bonnie Huy for the 87th District seat.

Huy, a Republican who was first elected to the House in 2000, has filed for re-election.

Goyle grew up in east Wichita and graduated from Duke University in 1997 and Harvard Law School in 2000. A lecturer at Wichita State University, Goyle said he will push for more education funding, improved health care, better jobs and neighborhoods and alternative energy sources.

Goyle has worked as a constitutional lawyer and a policy analyst. He was an intern at The Wichita Eagle during the summers of 1992 and 1993.

He also has worked for the Maryland ACLU on post-Sept. 11 immigration issues and voting rights, and was an advocate for homeland security issues in Washington, D.C. [Link]

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p>Those are the type of credentials I like to see in a desi candidate. Harvard Law followed by work with the ACLU will hopefully get him the win, although a democrat running in Wichita obviously has his work cut out for him. We have also learned that the more qualified candidate can still fall short sometimes. There is more about Raj on his website:

My life in Wichita began at the tender age of nine months old and it wasn’t long before I was bringing people together to help improve our community. When I was 15, I helped organize a community-wide recycling program that saved hundreds of pounds of garbage from the county landfill and led to a large cleanup of the Arkansas River downtown. As a reporter for the Wichita Eagle, I worked with U.S.D. 259 to produce the annual ‘back-to-school’ issue and wrote a column on each high school in the city…

In high school, I was active in sports, debate, and newspaper, and was honored to graduate as both valedictorian and student body president. [Link]

Raj also obtained an endorsement from Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (who by the way is also a Democrat). The one thing that I would like to see from Goyle is a strong position on keeping (Un)Intelligent Design out of classrooms in his district. I didn’t notice anything specific about this hot-button issue (especially hot in Kansas) on his issues page, but he does advocate “Revers[ing] the Brain Drain” and “Educating Our Children.”

In addition to support from the Governor, Raj also has the unlikely backing of Fred Glassco who is part of the leadership in the Kansas Legislature.

I’m a lifelong Republican and I’m voting for Raj. I know he is the kind of leader who will work hard for our district and Wichita. The Legislature needs someone like Raj to work for us…” [Link]

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p>If anyone feels like donating to his campaign you can find a link here.

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p>One last thing. Check out the 87th district below. This is a great example of why it is so damn hard to unseat an incumbent in this country. How the hell do they come up with a district shaped like this?

15 thoughts on “There is no place like home for Raj Goyle

  1. This guy sounds promising, but as you pointed out, most districts in the Midwest are so gerrymandered that its nearly impossible to win from a minority position. Especially an Indian running on a Democratic ticket; it virtually assures that he’ll lose the Christian vote. Still, crossing my fingers that he wins, and finally brings some real brownness to the House (Bobby Jindal does not count).

  2. re: wedding, don’t want to seem like a creep, i just wanted to confirm he was hindu. he is, so i assume heez just a sacrificial cow….

  3. Abhi, that district’s pretty good — the boundaries get even more bizarre than that. (Thanks, Tom DeLay!)

    Raj was also an excellent panelist at the 2005 NASABA Convention on a panel discussion about the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Immigration Act of 1965 — see here, here, and here for pictures. He’s smart and charismatic — I think he’ll be a strong candidate, and since he’s running in a district of reasonable size (rather than statewide, like Subodh) he’ll have a chance to build some name recognition.

  4. He’s also the author of a joke study from the CenterForAmericanProgress. Click my name for more on the “study”.

    For those who don’t like clicking, the study said it would cost $206 billion over five years to deport all illegalaliens.

    He and his co-authors arrived at that figure by assuming that the number of workplace detentions represented the U.S.’s best efforts at deporting illegalaliens caught working at job sites. Obvious to anyone who’s been following this issue, anyone who makes that assumption isn’t even trying to be intellectually honest.

  5. Abhi, that district’s pretty good — the boundaries get even more bizarre than that. (Thanks, Tom DeLay!)

    The shape of congressional districts in Kansas would be the handiwork of the Kansas legislature. While DeLay was involved in reshaping Texas districts to suit Republican ends, trying to blame DeLay for what Kansas did is pretty farfetched. And keep in mind, many states believe that in order to keep in line with the Voting Rights Act, they have to draw districts that will ensure at least one black (or in some cases Latino) member of Congress. This has the result cutting black voters off from whites, which limits the need for each side to reach out to the other.

    Still, crossing my fingers that he wins, and finally brings some real brownness to the House (Bobby Jindal does not count).

    Hmm… if black folks can issue a “ghetto pass” for those who are “authentically black” or “down with the peeps”, what do Indians hand out? Come one now – if you want to grab a piece of the grievances pie, you have to come up with something clever.

  6. Instead of handing out a Pindoo pass, we just hand out tiffin boxes. The desi who doesn’t know how to manipulate the contraption and get their lunch out gets labelled Angrez-ki-dum (white man’s tail) and Coconut.

  7. KXB, if you look closely, the link clicks to a boundary map of Texas. Which is probably why AK said Thanks Tom Delay.

  8. KXB, if you look closely, the link clicks to a boundary map of Texas. Which is probably why AK said Thanks Tom Delay.

    Gotcha – but I still don’t see the point in bringing up DeLay or Jindal when discussing Goyle’s candidacy.

  9. KXB -

    The shape of congressional [legislative] districts in Kansas would be the handiwork of the Kansas legislature. While DeLay was involved in reshaping Texas districts to suit Republican ends, trying to blame DeLay for what Kansas did is pretty farfetched.

    Uh, as we say in the midwest, “duh,” which is why I wasn’t doing any such thing. My point was that while Abhi thinks this district in Kansas is ridiculous looking, it actually isn’t, relatively speaking — the districts in Texas are, by comparison, much worse (hence the link to the Texas district map). And that’s directly relevant to the particular point made by Abhi.

    And keep in mind, many states believe that in order to keep in line with the Voting Rights Act, they have to draw districts that will ensure at least one black (or in some cases Latino) member of Congress. This has the result cutting black voters off from whites, which limits the need for each side to reach out to the other.

    I’m actually not sure if you mean to suggest this, but the Voting Rights Act is not the only or even the principal explanation for why and how most of these districts get drawn the way they do. (And in fact, the Supreme Court today held that the Texas map is not fully compliant with the VRA.) I think it’s fair to say that partisan advantage and incumbency protection are still the driving forces — the Voting Rights Act simply adds one additional constraint, and if those other factors played less of a role, we might well see very different district boundaries that would still be VRA-compliant.

  10. “JokeStudy” Person

    He and his co-authors arrived at that figure by assuming that the number of workplace detentions represented the U.S.’s best efforts at deporting illegalaliens caught working at job sites. Obvious to anyone who’s been following this issue, anyone who makes that assumption isn’t even trying to be intellectually honest.

    Just to clarify, what baseline assumptions would you make instead concerning the “best efforts” to deport the undocumented?